Navigating the complex landscape of child custody in Georgia is often a daunting task. A common challenge faced by separating parents is agreeing upon a fair and amicable visitation arrangement. Many parents choose to engage in visitation mediation to ensure the best interests of their children are met. This article explores the process, benefits, and legalities of visitation mediation in Georgia, with specific insights from Dekalb County family law attorneys.
What Is Visitation Mediation?
Visitation mediation is a process where a neutral third party helps parents negotiate visitation agreements. Fuller Law Group LLC, renowned family law attorneys in Atlanta, provides mediation services aimed at finding mutually satisfying solutions for child custody and visitation. Mediation provides an opportunity for parties to communicate their needs openly and work together to find common ground.
Common Issues in Visitation
Reaching an agreement on child custody and visitation is often a difficult and contentious process. Common issues faced by families in Georgia in relation to child custody involve:
1. Determining the Best Interest of the Child
In Georgia, the courts primarily consider the best interests of the child when determining custody and visitation right. Factors that might be considered include the child’s age, the child’s relationship with each parent, and the parents’ ability to care for the child.
2. Relocation of a Parent
A parent’s relocation can create significant challenges in maintaining visitation schedules. Georgia law has specific procedures that must be followed if a custodial parent intends to move.
3. Interference With Visitation Rights
Interfering with the other parent’s court-ordered visitation rights can lead to legal consequences. Courts may alter the custody or visitation arrangement if interference becomes a chronic issue.
4. Denies Visitations for Nonpayment of Child Support
Child support and visitation rights are separate legal issues, governed by distinct laws and regulations. If a non-custodial parent fails to pay child support, the custodial parent does not have the legal right to deny visitation.
5. Claiming That Child Refuses Visitation
In some cases, a parent might claim that children are refusing to visit the other parent as a reason for not complying with the visitation schedule. Georgia law acknowledges that a child’s preference may be considered, especially if the child is 14 years or older. However, this is only one of many factors that a judge will consider.
6. Consistently Missing Visitation
Consistent failure to adhere to a court-ordered visitation schedule can have serious legal consequences in Georgia. The court may consider modifying the custody or visitation agreement if one parent continually misses scheduled visits without a valid reason.
Visitation rights are delicate issues, often complicated by emotions and legal intricacies. If you face these or similar challenges, consider reaching out to a family law attorney who specializes in Georgia family law.
Benefits of Visitation Mediation
Visitation mediation has emerged as a better alternative to traditional court proceedings in Georgia, allowing parents to collaboratively resolve disputes with the guidance of a neutral mediator.
Mediation encourages parents to work together to develop a plan that prioritizes the child’s well-being. It offers a less confrontational environment, fostering collaboration and reducing the emotional toll on all parties involved, including children.
By working together in mediation, parents may build communication skills and trust that help them cooperate in the future. This collaboration can result in a more positive long-term co-parenting relationship.
If you wish to explore this option, contacting an experienced family law attorney is an essential step. Reach out to us today for a consultation, and let us guide you through this compassionate and practical alternative to traditional legal battles.